Monday, April 24th 2006
You’re Gonna Have to Take My Word On This…

I am an AWFUL friend. Really. Not in BlogLand so much, but in Real Life, I suck.

Proof of my Suck-y-ness:

I don’t like a whole lot of people. Most people really annoy me.

I hate social gatherings, and get all weird and try to leave early, not go at all, or hang out in the bathroom. Which is dumb, because anyone who really knows me understands that the last thing I’d ever do is USE a public bathroom. Ew.

I will not put forth any effort for a relationship with someone who annoys me.

I will put forth only a TINY amount of effort for those few people that do not annoy me.

I do not call.

I do not send nice things in mail, like my great friend "C."

I do not do social things well, or consistently, or with superfluous people. (So if friend A wants me to go out with her and anyone else, or any other group of people, no. Sorry, but no. WHY? Because I might not like them. No, that’s not true. Because I DEFINITELY won’t like them. See what a snot I am? I hate social things.)

And don’t even get me started on attending ‘play groups’ with annoying mommies and a nice one here and there mixed in. I’ll proudly and selfishly sacrifice my kids’ social skills before I’ll do that scene again.

I do not have any interest in making new friends in Real Life. (Did you already reach that conclusion? Let’s just make it plain then.)

Occasionally I’ll think, "That person is really nice and does not annoy me. Maybe I should be her friend." Then I think of all the work that would entail and then I just think, ‘ahhh, screw it.’ And that’s the delightful end of the thought process that almost enlarged my teensy social circle.

As a result, I have VERY few friends, and am perfectly happy with that. The other day, Ethan-6yr said, "Mom, can we see what’s-her-name soon?"

I asked who he meant. (What’s-her-name? Huh?)

He said, "You know. The friend you have that is not "C", and is not Aunt LaLa."

I had to crack up, because that perfectly described my friend whose name he can never remember, even though he’s known her his entire life. The friend who is not "C" and who is also not your sister. HA! Love that. It was a spot-on description of my entire social network.

The two people, unrelated to me, who are my friends are persistent people who probably put waaaay more into our relationship than I do. (Thanks, y’all)

Okay, so I’ve made my case right? None of you are going to try and tell me "Oooh, I don’t believe it ’cause you’re so nice online…?" Right? Y’all wouldn’t, right, because – re read the title of the post please – take my word on it. I’m not a good friend in Real Life.

SoooOOOOoo….

I did something weird. I’ve had my eye on a potential "really nice, not annoying, huh… maybe…." person. For two years. (YES, YOU READ THAT RIGHT.)

And I emailed and asked her to dinner. (I SAID I don’t do the phone, ok? Yes, i EMAILED, you read THAT right, too.)

This person knows ALL the ugliness in my family right now, and yet….? She said yes.

Tonight, we talked on the phone. (I’m not good with phones. When she called, I ANSWERED. That’s weird for me.) We talked for a long time.

I do not think there were weird, awkward pauses.

We’re having dinner Thursday night.

I will probably mess up because that’s what i do, and i cannot reasonably handle more than two friends who are not family members, and ohmigosh what have i done? but she’s nice. hmmm. 

Yes. I am fully aware that there are prescription medicines available for social anxiety issues as described above. But in order to take them, I think you have to consider these issues problematic. I do not. Merely describing here, y’all, not crying out for help.

You know what happened the last time I thought, "she’s nice…. not annoying…. hmmm….?" I sized HER up for 2 years, we started to become (gulp!) ‘friends’ and immediately she said, "I wish we’d been talking for the last two years, because I’m moving next month."

I’m nervous, can you tell? And defensive. I think that’s the deal with all the capitalizing.

~hm

49 Comments on “You’re Gonna Have to Take My Word On This…”

1
Carol
April 25th, 2006
12:11 am

Opposites must attract because we are totals. Somebody has to be weird, annoying, have three heads and a gun to mine before I don’t like them. I can so NOT relate here, Kelsey.

And that is why I am so very happy that you are meeting the 2-year-test-passer Thurs. for dinner. Awesome!! If she has any flaws, do for her what God does for you and just cover them with grace. Always works for me. Even with the 3-headed people.

How long did you scope out Mike before you went on a date with him? Just curious…[grin]

2
Janice
April 25th, 2006
12:48 am

Well at least it isn’t a problem for you. I mean if you had only a few friends AND you were lonely and WANTED more, than that would be sad.

Got give it to you for your honesty though girl!!

Me – I am a social bug. Although I often prefer to stay home now so I can work or read everyone’s fun blogs! Cyber friendships are much easier it is true.

3
Diane
April 25th, 2006
2:04 am

Hey, I’m a take-me-as-I-am kind of girl, and I do the same with others. I can’t stand a phony. If you don’t like me, just tell me up front, and I can deal with that. But DON’T put on an act to my face, then cut me to shreds when I’ve got my back turned. I like to have everything out in the open, no guess-work. That said…….
Kelsey, what I have come to know about you on here, I really like. I like that you make no pretensions about who you are, and that you are okay with who you are. Much better that, than that you agonize and go wiggy over the fact that you don’t care to socialize.
I’d rather hear some honest complaining and ranting, than you trying to blow some *fairy dust* up my nose, LOL. :) I’m all for truth in advertising, so bring it on, girl. ;)

Quit stressing over this dinner thing….It will be okay, even if it turns out that you don’t want to do it again. You’re a grownup now, you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do. So my 18-yr daughter tells me, anyway. LOL ;)

4
Geekwif
April 25th, 2006
7:17 am

Oh, I SO understand this! I’m completely baffled with the fact that I actually like it when people read my blog. I actually like reading other people’s too, and leaving comments, making what could almost be considered…(gulp)…conversation!!!

I’ve always been a loner and having to be social can be terrifying and just plain distasteful. I hate making conversation and am terrible at it. I’d much rather stay home with a book or spend time with my hubby. In fact, I usually only go out because it’s the “right thing to do”. (It’s the only reason I answer the phone too.)

I completely agree on the drugs too. Who needs ‘em? I don’t want to become miss Sally Social. Besides, I’m pretty sure the side effects are much worse than the “problem” itself. I mean really – nausea, sexual side effects, diarrhea, etc., etc. Really? Are they serious? I can’t imagine those things make for a particularly active or enjoyable social life.

5
Jan
April 25th, 2006
7:20 am

Kelsey, I can relate to what you are saying here. Basically, I have family by blood (biological), by marriage, or by “adoption”. I don’t know if I really have any friends outside of that, except on line. Not that I don’t like people; I do. It’s just….as you said, a lot of work. And I’d rather spend my time with Wick, our kids and grandkids, our extended family, than trying to make new friends. Sometimes it happens, but usually because the “other” person initiated it. And they either become part of the family, or they fade away.

6
Geekwif
April 25th, 2006
7:21 am

And here’s why I’m not so great at the social thing. I’m so completely obsessed with myself that I forgot that I was going to wish you well with your new potential friend.

When you find that rare person who you can actually be friends with, it is a good thing, so I hope you get along smashingly, that she loves your dinner, and that there are no awkward pauses in conversation. Have fun!

7
April
April 25th, 2006
7:50 am

Hi. Been lurking for a while, but had to reply to this one. (See, I’m even shy online.)
I can really relate to your social phobias. I have a handful of would-be friends whom I NEVER call, and NEVER approach. It’s like asking someone out on a date. What if she doesn’t call me back? What if she’s only pretending to like me? What if she thinks I’m stalking her? All this anxiety over asking someone out to lunch. So, like you, I have no friends except.
Here’s my question: When my 10yr old daughter starts exhibiting the same phobias, when do I stop saying, “It’s okay, she’s just shy like I am,” and when do I step in because I want her to actually have FRIENDS?

8
boomama
April 25th, 2006
7:53 am

I loved the part about how it’s not your friend “C” and not your sister. That’s so funny. And like Carol, I am one of those annoying people who gives everybody the benefit of the doubt…but I don’t like small talk. So I really have to “click” with real-life people for there to be a relationship that goes beyond the surface stuff.

Big props to you (did I just say “PROPS”?!?!? I do apologize) for stepping outside your comfort zone. That is, as they say, huge.

9
Heth
April 25th, 2006
7:54 am

You are so funny. I love that you emailed her and got the ball rolling. I hope you have a great time and can count her as a new friend who is not “C” and not your sister and not “what’s-her-name”.

I understand about being a bad friend. I have friends who are so good at sending notes and remembering birthdays and calling “just because”. I suck at that.

10
Sarah
April 25th, 2006
8:05 am

Yeah, I’m with you on this one. (And the phone thing!!)

But then I learned that creative people (writers like us) are just wired differently. I can’t tell you how many really well-known writers have said that their circles of friends are REALLY small. Made me feel better about it.

After my daughter’s accident, when I really did want to talk to somebody? I couldn’t think of anyone to call.

It’s really very pathetic. YOU’re not pathetic of course, just me…oh whatever – you know what I mean.

11
Randi
April 25th, 2006
9:07 am

Good for you! You will be blessed by putting forth this effort! Personally, I don’t think it is bad to not enjoy social gatherings too much–I like people but I prefer a few at a time! Here is a post you may enjoy reading, it describes me perfectly:

http://intent.squarespace.com/display/ShowJournal?moduleId=185204&categoryId=15015

Just click on Intent-journal and you will find it!

Have a great day!

12
Kate
April 25th, 2006
9:23 am

Oh Kelsey, true true friends are R.A.R.E. They are the ones who can handle hearing the ugly, crying with you because they feel your pain and heartache, and are happy with you. Those are just R.A.R.E. I understand where you are coming from. I am somewhere in the middle. I’d prefer to skip all social events and be with just my man, kids or family circle. But sometimes it can’t always be that way. (So I get nervous too, no matter what, where, with who, etc…) Pretentious people make me very nervous. I know how MAJOR this is for you. I really really do. I’ll pray your time together will be abundantly blessed and that this will be a lasting (healthy!) friendship! :)

13
Jamie
April 25th, 2006
9:23 am

This is my life! And yet, I hear Sarah in that when life is really crummy there is no one to call so I sit around and cry, “I have no friends!” But when Friday night rolls around and I have to choose between going out with potential, would-be friends and staying home with my family, my family always wins.

Phone-phobics-R-us

14
Amanda
April 25th, 2006
9:49 am

I can relate a lot to this post. I try to put myself out there and go to playgroups, etc. But a while back I said, “No more.” I want to talk about real life. I want to surround myself with women that are not afraid to be REAL. Who cares about the sale at THE Gap or how cute your shoes are. I love girly things too but let’s talk about something meaningful. I used to beat myself up so much that I couldn’t enjoy myself in big groups of women. Some would even say that it’s a character flaw. But, I would rather hang out with ONE friend at a time. I like your honesty and I think we are pretty similiar. I HATE small talk, I just can’t do it. I am trying though so I can meet people where they are at and not bombard them.

15
Owlhaven
April 25th, 2006
9:52 am

Kelsey,
I am similar to you. I may be a teeny bit more outgoing in a social setting, but I am always nervous about not saying the right thing or not having someone compatible to talk to. Lots of times before the evening is half over I am longing for the (relative) solitude of my own home.

I spend the vast majority of time with my family and prefer it that way. I have about 3 close real-life friends, only two of whom I see on a regular basis, despite the fact that we live not far from each other. I am just so involved with my family that I don’t take the time to reach out.

Sometimes I feel bad about that. But I do feel that my focus is rightly on my family at this stage in my life. I’ve always felt a bit like an outsider looking in. Though my social skills have improved over the years enough that most people don’t know it, that’s who I am down deep….

Mary, your friend

16
fannie
April 25th, 2006
10:13 am

Oh.my.word. I’m not the only psycho in the world! I hate social gatherings. I hate the phone. I’d go to the ends of the earth to be a loner. But let me blog about anything. Love email, but if a blog friend wants to meet in person, I will wig out completely. Argh.
So here’s a blogger “cheers” for you. (But don’t think I’m your friend now, because I’ll never call you, either. . . )
;-)

17
Addie
April 25th, 2006
10:24 am

Oh! I. HATE. THE. PHONE!!!!!! Ok, I feel better now.

I get it. I may not be as extreme as you, but I get it. I have a bit of theatrics in me, so I can fake it, but I’m not gonna say I enjoy it. It’s a necessary evil. :)

You go Girl! Have yourself some fun on Thursday!

18
Cheeriobutt
April 25th, 2006
11:02 am

Oh cool…Now I don’t feel soo weird.Thanks for summing up how I feel. I do love blogging to lots of people though. You know why? No expressions from people or comments that make me 2 inches tall(if there are I can hit good ‘ol delete and they disappear), No one can see my messy house, hair, kids etc. and call in social services because they think I can’t keep up! No one can hear me yelling at my kids or them screaming and give more dirty looks. What else, Oh I can portray whatever I want on my blog AND no one knows my name or where I live or..:) Oh yeah and then there’s that slow mindedness I have. When people talk to me, it takes about a second longer then most people for me to comprehend what was said, therefore taking longer for me to respond. It takes a lot of concentration to listen to voices for me, but reading is no problem and I have time to think about my response so that I can let the true me shine and not come across as dense or airheaded or rude. ….Am I blabbing about myself? I had a point and it was probably all about me! I’m sorry. Anyways, good luck on that get-together! Sometimes it turns out great, but if not? You are blessed with a great friendship with your Mom and sis. Which is a heck of a lot more than most people out here in blogland! Love your post! Way to go on being yourself. I feel more at home here now!

19
emily
April 25th, 2006
11:40 am

sounds like it’ll be fun! and even if it isn’t, she’s moving in a month, right? HA!

20
Diane
April 25th, 2006
11:48 am

Follow your instincts! But do go to dinner with this friend! While parenting takes up so much of our energy–and we love doing it–we are going to need others in our life when our children discover they can have fun (maybe MORE fun) without us! :)

You’ll have a great dinner! You have a great sense of humor….and you know exactly what you want. There won’t be any weird awkward moments..because you’ve got this handled! This is a treat for yourself–that you deserve.

Let us know how things go!

Diane

21
Suzanne Balvanz
April 25th, 2006
12:18 pm

Oh my GOSH….I could have TOTALLY written every word you wrote in that post. I don’t have typical social phobias, I just don’t handle people’s annoying habits well. I have plenty of my own but I can control those. I cannot control other people….

Good to know I am not alone…
:)

22
Michelle
April 25th, 2006
12:59 pm

I am relate! I was just at a picnic this past Sunday, where I spent most of the time by myself because I was too uncomfortable to actually reach out and make friends. At one point, I went to my husband (who was with his friends at the time) and said tha if things didn’t get better I was going to leave. Then a miracle happened: I went over and talked to a group of women my age and I…. had a good time! So I ended up leaving the barbeque less upset than if I had just told my husband we needed to leave early. So that goes to show that even if you are not overly excited about going out and meeting new people or talking to people you don’t know, it really can work out. Now this has not always been the case, but this weekend it was. And that has given me hope for the future.
Have fun at dinner :)

23
moe
April 25th, 2006
1:23 pm

I hate the phone. I’m an aweful friend. My one close friend that’s not related to me by birth or marriage was over today and even though I like spending time with her. I was glad when she left. I had to get the kids down for a nap and get back to ignoring my laundry and blogging. I’m SO BAD.

24
Susan
April 25th, 2006
2:36 pm

Ok, can I be honest here? SHUT UP! I do not think you are an awful friend. Just “picky”?

I realize that I have not met you but you helped me get started in my blog life and helped me with some other important issues that I was dealing with.

That makes you a great person! On or off line.

I don’t think you give yourself enough credit Kels.

25
Shalee
April 25th, 2006
2:57 pm

All those things makes a sucky friend? Oh. My. Goodness. I’m in some serious trouble… especially about the phone.

Guess what I do for my job? Yep, that phone helps me do what I need to do for my job. Scheduling, calling about information, communicating with lots of people… God is bound and determined to get me over my hate/hate relationship with the phone!

26
Chaotic Mom
April 25th, 2006
3:07 pm

You already have enough great comments, just wanted to add that I am the same way. I’m burned out on people. BIG time. There are great ladies out there, but I’m out of energy maybe.

God’s been working on that part of my heart recently. It kind of hurts, but I’m letting Him do his thing…

27
BooMama
April 25th, 2006
3:18 pm

Very Quickly, Some Interweb Follow-Up

Check out the comments on this post at HolyMama!

28
Faith
April 25th, 2006
3:29 pm

I’m somewhere in there with you. I like most people – on the surface. I just don’t get to know them that well. I have a lot of acaintances (sp), but,a real, true friend? Not really. Relationships take a lot of time and work. I don’t do a very good job at working at it. I never call anybody, never go visit etc. I’ve lost touch with all of my friends that I used to have due to no follow through. I always worry about who will come to my funeral!!!! That is really psycho!!! Maybe all of my blogging friends will come. Whatever! have fun with your potential “friend”. Keep us posted!

29
eph2810
April 25th, 2006
3:38 pm

Hm – sounds like me – honestly.

30
Faith
April 25th, 2006
3:51 pm

Oh yeah! I also realized that it is crazy to have people in your life that make you upset,angry,sad etc. I realized that I had some of those and just slowly let those “friendships” dwindle. I want as many “good” things/people in my life as posssible. No time/reason for anything else to use the time I could spend with hubby/kids etc.

Okay, I’m done now.

31
Jess
April 25th, 2006
4:10 pm

I can be super prickly in real life, too, and I tend to not give people a chance. Which I know is dumb, but is the exact opposite of my husband (who loves everyone) so it sort of works out. I do have a core group of friends, but it’s because they are awesome and put forth the effort because they know that I won’t.

In short, you’re not alone. I also often tell my husband (when he is berating me for turning down a dinner invite from a neighborhood couple) that I have enough friends. I can’t deal with anymore.

32
mopsy
April 25th, 2006
4:34 pm

Have a lovely dinner.

Let me guess—you were never in a sorority?

Me neither.

33
Leilani
April 25th, 2006
6:09 pm

I say good for you, too… it’s sad that she is moving, but the experience has probably helped you out of your shell a bit. And the next time you’ll feel comfotable sooner…
:)

34
Leilani
April 25th, 2006
6:10 pm

Ok, READ carefully Lei.
:)

Glad she’s not moving, lol.

35
sparrow
April 25th, 2006
9:47 pm

he he he.

too true.

36
Heather
April 25th, 2006
9:58 pm

Kelsey, I hope you have a great time with your friend — you have so much to offer! I also have an easier time writing than calling on the phone. The truth is, my closest local friends are the ones I also keep in touch with by email. I mean, how can I hold a deep conversation when we’ve usually got a dozen kids around?

Here’s one thing I’ve done. I ordered cheap business cards from Vistaprint.com with my name and blog address on them. When I talk to someone I’d like to get to know better, I give them my card. People can get to know me REAL fast that way — forget the small talk! :)

37
crickl's nest
April 25th, 2006
10:06 pm

I know ppl like you!

And now I understand them a little better…thanks Kelsey….

38
Brenda
April 25th, 2006
10:25 pm

Obviously you’re not alone. Which means I’m not either. How cool is that?

My best friend since 5th grade and I never talk. We lost contact right after graduation, and have seen each other once since then – at our 15th high school reunion! We picked up right where we left off, enjoyed it immensely, and haven’t spoken since.

My best friend for the last 12 years lives in my home state, and the only time we ever talk or see each other is when I call her (rarely, if ever) or go home to visit my folks.

I’ve been in Georgia for two years now, and my closest friend here is my ex-wife-in-law (hubby’s ex.) We attend church together and usually go out to eat afterwards. I once told my husband that I had no interest in becoming “best friends” with her (before I got to know her.) I guess God had other plans. I was surprised to discover that we actually have a lot more in common than just my husband/her ex and the kids. We don’t go out of our way to get together, but when hubby and I can manage to get the house cleaned and decide to have company (once in a blue moon) she and her husband get the invite.

Oh dear, so very sorry to ramble. I’m sure you’ll do fine, and may you be as pleasantly surprised as I was!

39
julie carobini
April 26th, 2006
12:03 am

Kelsey, confession is a good thing so, okay, here’s mine. I’d rather go out with TWO other friends, rather than just one (except for my friend “D”–she’s used to my weirdness.)

I think I like threes better because I can be more of a facilitator rather than having to hold up an entire 1/2 of the conversation.

Does this mean I have control issues?

Anyway, thanks for sharing. Next time you’re in California, let’s do lunch. HAHAHAHA…

40
Karin
April 26th, 2006
12:08 am

Better late than never :) I hope you have a wonderful time!

41
Theresa
April 26th, 2006
1:46 am

Wow, big topic…heavy stuff. I just wanted to be the 40th commenter on your blog (smiles)…btw – have fun Thurs. if you don’t bail! LOL

42
Laura
April 26th, 2006
6:28 am

Wow. You sound just like me.

I have one very great, close friend. I wouldn’t trade her for the world.

43
Gibee
April 26th, 2006
9:55 am

Kelsey … you will do just fine. Remember rule #1 about being a friend … BE YOURSELF.

Rule #2 – love the person for who they are …

You are an awesome woman. If she doesn’t see you for who you are, move on!!! But I see some wisdom in her already … after all … SHE reached out to YOU by phone and if I’m not mistaken … you talked a long time, and probably enjoyed it!

Just take it one step at a time … and you WONT mess up!

44
angie
April 26th, 2006
9:56 am

i have no idea who you are, other than that i clicked on this link that took me to you from a friends blog. i just wanted you to know that this entry is hilarious and oh so true for me too. i need people though and if i isolate, i’m ruined mentally, spiritually and every other “ally”. hope you keep at it socially and find what you’re looking for in that “perfect” friend. i just made a total life transition move and really need a friend, but am having a hard time finding one…so my hope for you is the same for myself. that someone here in my new home town needs a friend as badly as i need one myself.

45
Sherry
April 26th, 2006
1:04 pm

Hey I totally understand what y are saying about the friend thing. I like to talk to people but I dont want to be friends with people some times because I have been hurt before. It sucks. You think oh this person is really nice. Then wham they throw out something and your are like where the heck did that come from what did I do to deservie that. I dont blam you for being careful and scared. And by the way those meds arent bad they actually help. I know form expeiance. Take em every day.

46
Angela
April 26th, 2006
2:33 pm

This is a great blog – I used to have a lot of anxiety and feel most if not all of these things. But as my anxiety issues have eased, I have been more willing to enlarge my circle. Not that it’s necessary…just a side effect of not having some of those problems anymore.

You are definitely funny. Thanks for sharing.

47
flipflop
April 26th, 2006
3:02 pm

Have fun. Friends are few and far between.

48
nana
May 3rd, 2006
11:02 am

I am so happy to read your comments – it could have been me saying them!!! I hate meeting new people, I hate social gatherings. I have always thought I was weird because I just don’t care about making small talk with people I don’t really know – I just. don’t. care about what they think!!! And yet I’m really a person who cares deeply about my family and friends that I’ve had since I was young. Maybe I think I have enough friends?? But does it matter? I’m happy and comfortable with the ones I have. In my job, I have to speak with people from our company’s other offices many times a week and, over time, you get the feeling that you know these people personally. But being civil and acting interested while talking on the phone because it’s a requirement of my job is way different from face-to-face encounters. Another lady in the office is always saying “oh, I would just love to meet this person or that person.” I think, why????? I’m just not interested in their life nor in sharing mine with them.

49
babsrn
November 15th, 2006
6:42 am

Hi..I found you from a search on the phrase, “Burned out on people”…which, as a nurse, I have been for years. At least in my off time. So I’m with you on this too. I have to be “social” in my work and I encounter so many people in the course of a day that I dread being social in my off-time. I don’t do phone. I don’t do a lot of small-talk. I don’t do anything that detracts from time with my kids. I don’t date (I’m divorced). I don’t join groups because I don’t want to go alone and usually I can’t hold to the time commitment. I have some friends, who I keep contact with online more so than any other way. I don’t like the other parents at my kids’ school (private, small)…none of them are single like me and when I start to think they might be nice, I hear that fake giggle that sends chills down my spine. I figure people pretty much already have the friends they want to have and I’d always be the “new one” and the one who has to try to “fit in” only to be banished at the first mistake.

But the few friends I do have look after me and I look after them. Might not be all that social but they’re there. And being *there* is what counts.

I don’t see it as a character flaw either. Like you, I believe in quality over quantity. So, good on ya.

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